Bunk Trinacty knows a thing or two about Windsor's history.
The former Windsor resident is an avid collector of antique postcards depicting life in Windsor from the 1800s onwards. But these cards aren't just mementos of the past — they're a way to preserve history, to treasure a simpler time, and to provide future generations with a comprehensive knowledge of our past.
For many, it's hard to imagine what Windsor was like in the 1890s, let alone what it looked like just 75 to 50 years ago. But, that's about to change.
Trinacty has never had a public showing of his postcard collection — until now. These postcards will be on display at the new Hants Journal location, 86 Gerrish Street, in time for the newspaper's open house Aug. 3.
With about 250 postcards in the collection, Trinacty said there's something for everyone interested in Windsor's history to get excited about.
“You'll probably be surprised at how many people pop out of the woodwork with old Windsor things that they have,” said Trinacty. “And I'm sure, when people start seeing this old collection they're going to see what they have that compares.”
He's anxious to see postcards that he doesn't have and connect with fellow history buffs.
Trinacty, a nephew of the late giant pumpkin grower Howard Dill, began collecting the postcards about 30 years ago, perhaps longer.
“I can't say that I'm out to collect them all, because there's never a catalogue of all the ones that have ever been produced, and some of these are one of a kind,” said Trinacty.
“When I see a card that I don't have, a collector gets goosebumps and you just feel you want to have it,” he said, grinning.
Trinacty said he often thinks of what it would have been like to grow up in the 1890s.
“I think that's when Windsor was really on the map the most,” he said.
“I'm sure times were hard back then, but when you look back I think that was the best time. I just think the early cards put me back into that atmosphere.”
One of his most cherished cards is a double postcard with exquisite detail showing a panoramic view of Windsor.
“Most of these (postcards), they were hand tinted, and you can see the run in them, but this one was left as a black and white, so that's probably my nicest one,” he said, examining the detail housed in the panoramic shot.
Most of Trinacty's cards are turn of the century.
“I don't really like anything that's too new. Anything from 1920 or on, it's not quite my passion,” he said, though some of the postcards feature the same scene taken decades apart.
The postcard display will feature everything from local churches, bridges, buildings, and parks to some really unique military postcards featuring the 117th Regiment marching through Windsor. Although Trinacty said the cards aren't overly valuable in a monetary sense, they do mean a lot for those that collect them.
“There are an unbelievable amount of church cards and bridges. That's probably the most predominate,” he said.
“When I first got the cards, I was a budding photographer,” he said. “I would go out to the same spots and I would take that picture from 1985, and I made an album up.”
But as his collection grew and grew, he created panels to showcase the old postcards. Some of those panels will be on display during the Hants Journal's open house.
But that’s not all
Trinacty also has a collection of souvenir china featuring Windsor scenes.
“It's a lot harder to keep a 100-year-old piece of china around than a card,” said Trinacty, noting the difficulty in tracking down pieces for his collection.
“A lot of these things turn up in the U.S.,” said Trinacty. “I'm buying a souvenir of Windsor, 100 years old, (and) it's in Texas. So you never know where the things are going to come from, and how they ever got there.”
For the postcards, he finds online sites help him track down ones he doesn't already own, as does word of mouth.
The first piece of china he received was from his grandfather's sister. Then he inherited a piece from his mother.
“So that's where that collection started, was by inheriting a piece, and then I just kind of sought them out,” he said.
The Hants Journal's open house will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trinacty will be on hand to chat with people about his postcard collection. The display will remain in the office window throughout the Windsor West Hants Summerfest weekend.